Critical Skills Master’s Program

Sandia's Critical Skills Master’s Program (CSMP) is a special, entry-level hiring program, which provides new or recent technical bachelor's degree candidates the opportunity to pursue a fully funded Masters of Science degree. The CSMP program is designed to attract talent pursuing key disciplines aligned with Sandia’s national security mission, including Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Cybersecurity and Electrical Engineering.

Successful applicants will become regular full-time Sandia employees and join multidisciplinary teams that are advancing the frontiers of science and technology to solve the world’s greatest challenges.

After spending at least two months at Sandia acclimating to the national-laboratory environment, CSMP participants will enter graduate school to pursue their technical master's degrees full-time. Sandia will pay for eligible tuition and tuition-associated costs.

While in graduate school, fellows will remain on roll as Sandia employees and will receive an annual stipend and employee benefits. After receiving their master's degrees, CSMP participants are placed in appropriate technical staff positions at Sandia.

Program Eligibility

  • Ability to obtain a DOE security clearance which requires U.S. citizenship 
  • Application deadline: December 1st
  • New or recent Bachelor's of Science degree with a cumulative GPA of 3.0/4.0
  • Qualify to attend Sandia approved graduate schools

Program Requirements

  • Apply to a minimum of 3 nationally accredited Sandia-approved universities and be accepted to at least 1 prior to beginning employment. Approved universities include Georgia Tech, Purdue, University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign, University of Texas-Austin, University of New Mexico and other top schools selected by Sandia.
  • Successfully complete the GRE as required by the universities of interest 
  • Complete a master’s degree within:
    • three semesters (five equivalent quarters / four trimesters) for a non-thesis option, or
    • four semesters (six equivalent quarters / five trimesters) for a thesis option
  • Maintain the required GPA set forth by the school in the discipline area of study
  • Spend at least two months working at Sandia prior to graduate school
  • In addition, eligible CSMP participants must apply for a National GEM Consortium Fellowship and/or National Physical Sciences Consortium (NPSC) Fellowship
  • Pursue a technical master's degree that fulfills Sandia's business needs
  • Complete service requirement at Sandia upon graduation


  • Obtain a master’s degree while remaining on-roll as a Sandia employee and receive a competitive annual salary (paid biweekly) 
  • Regular employee benefits (except vacation accrual) while attending graduate school 
  • Paid tuition and related tuition associated costs 
  • Relocation benefits based on current Sandia policy
  • Placement into technical staff position upon graduation and successful completion of the program

Application procedure

  1. View the CSMP job openings that interest you.

Critical Skills Master’s Program Computer Science/Computer Engineering (659473)

Critical Skills Master’s Program Electrical Engineering (659474)

  1. ­Click Apply Now, and follow the instructions to upload your resume.

Detailed instructions for using Sandia's Careers tool to apply for a position are also available.